MANILA (Mabuhay) – Former Philippine National Police chief Panfilo Lacson is criticizing Malacañang for saying the PNP Board of Inquiry resorted to speculations in its findings on the Mamasapano clash.
Lacson said Malacanang’s insistence that the chain of command applies only to the PNP and does not include President Aquino does not hold water.
Among the BOI’s conclusions is that Aquino broke the PNP chain of command when he spoke directly to former Special Action Force chief Getulio Napenas Jr. and suspended PNP chief Alan Purisima, instead of PNP OIC Leonardo Espina.
“Ang chain of command present ito kahit sa isang business organization. Anong ibig sabihin ng chain of command? It’s the formal line of authority, responsibility in communication. Ito yung relationship ng superior at tsaka ng subordinate so hindi pwedeng sabihin na ang PNP hindi saklaw ng chain of command,” he said.
Lacson said there was no contradiction in the BOI’s findings that President Aquino has the prerogative to bypass a higher-ranked police official and thus, break the chain of command.
“It is his prerogative na laktawan chain of command as long as there is reason na laktawan ang immediate commander below you,” he said.
He said in the case of Purisima, the former PNP chief was not part of the chain of command because he was already suspended.
In the interview, Lacson praised the Board of Inquiry for producing an exhaustive report on the Mamasapano incident that exceeded people’s expectations.
He said he earlier warned BOI chairman Benjamin Magalong to be careful about the use of words and language in the report since it will be scrutinized by legal luminaries. He also told Magalong that the investigation “cannot deviate from the truth.”
For his part, Presidential Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said the Palace did not mean to undermine the BOI report and only sought to clarify that the President did not violate any laws.
“Hindi po ibinababa yun pagturing dun sa pangkalahatang findings ng BOI. Nagkaclarify lang po para iclarify sa ating kababayan na hindi po lumalabag sa batas ang ating pangulo,” he said. (MNS)